from the The-vision-thing dept.
Nanotechnology is the focus of a special issue of Scientific American (September 2001). About half of the articles are available online, including a relatively brief piece by Eric Drexler ("Machine Phase Nanotechnology").
However, the tenor of the other articles is, in general, either skeptical or openly hostile to the concept of machine phase chemistry or mechanosynthesis, as well as advanced applications, as pointed out by Sander Olson, who writes "Scientific American's latest issue has the cover story on nanotechnology. Although the issue has an article from Mr. Drexler ("Machine Phase Nanotechnology"), most of the articles are highly critical of Drexlerian nanotechnology concepts. In one article, Gary Stix claims that Drexler's contribution to nanotechnology will be akin to Star Trek's — a fantasy that will nevertheless encourage people to enter the field. In another article, George Whitesides argues that "The charm of the assembler is illusory: it is more appealing as metaphor than as reality, and less the solution of a problem than the hope for a miracle." "
Read more for the table of contents and links to the articles available online. Additional articles about nanotechnology from SA are also available, including the 1996 article from Gary Stix that triggered an extensive online rebuttal from Foresight. Special Nanotechnology Issue of Scientific American (September 2001)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- From the Editors: Megabucks for Nanotech
- Little Big Science, BY Gary Stix
Nanotechnology is all the rage. Will it meet its ambitious goals? And what is it, anyway?
- The Art of Building Small, by George M. Whitesides and J. Christopher Love
The search is on for cheap, efficient ways to make structures only a few billionths of a meter across.
- Plenty of Room, Indeed, by Michael Roukes
There is plenty of room for practical innovation at the nanoscale–once the physical rules are known.
- The Incredible Shrinking Circuit, by Charles M. Lieber
Researchers have built nanoresistors and nanowires. Now they have to find a way to put them together.
- Less Is More in Medicine, by A. Paul Alivisatos
Nanotechnology's first applications may include biomedical research and disease diagnosis.
- Machine-Phase Nanotechnology, by K. Eric Drexler
The leading visionary in the field forecasts how nanorobots will transform society.
- Of Chemistry, Love and Nanobots, by Richard E. Smalley
A Nobel Prize winner explains why self-replicating nanomachines won't work.
- The Once and Future Nanomachine, by George M. Whitesides
Lessons from nature on building small.
- Nanobot Construction Crews, by Steven Ashley
One company's quest to develop nanorobots.
- Shamans of Small, by Graham P. Collins
Nanotechnology has become a favorite topic of science-fiction writers.
- Nano Nonsense and Cryonics: True believers seek redemption from the sin of death by Michael Shermer, September 2001